When I started as Parent Advocate two years ago, I distinctly remember asking Kiersten, who was training me at the time, “So, let me get this right, I just have to talk to people and support them?” I remember thinking, “how easy”. Little did I know, it’s not at all easy.
Nine years ago and a million memories have passed since our daughter, Kaytee, battled Leukemia. Every day was a struggle. Every single day! An abnormal norm became our routine and we found ourselves part of a new family. A family made of nurses, doctors and healthcare workers, as well as fellow fighters and caregivers. You know when you are in the presence of those who have walked the road you now find yourself on, because a type of soft kindness comes over their eyes and their entire posture changes. You become a listener and postulate an air of understanding, because you do. So, I found that when I spoke with families that had just been diagnosed, or that have been on the front lines for years, these characteristics became a part of who I became.
Over the past two years, I’ve met many new families. I’ve laughed with some and cried with others. I’ve seen some win the fight and a few take their last breaths. For those of you that know me, you know that each experience has had a profound effect on me, personally. Getting to know you, your child and your entire family, has been the biggest honor in my life. I want everyone to know that I will never forget any one of you. You have helped me heal from my own personal journey with my daughter and the difficulties I experienced with that. You’ve allowed me to share some of the most difficult times of your lives and I hope that I was able to help with a caring and understanding ear.
I would like to leave with a quote I recently found.